Engel and Resnick are part of Google Magenta—a small team of AI researchers inside the internet giant building computer systems that can make their own art—and this is their latest project. It’s called NSynth, and the team will publicly demonstrate the technology later this week at Moogfest, the annual art, music, and technology festival, held this year in Durham, North Carolina.
When the writer Rebecca Forster first heard how Google was using her work, it felt like she was trapped in a science fiction novel. “Is this any different than someone using one of my books to start a fire? I have no idea,” she says. “I have no idea what their objective is. Certainly it is not to bring me readers.”
After a 25-year writing career, during which she has published 29 novels ranging from contemporary romance to police procedurals, the first instalment of her Josie Bates series, Hostile Witness, has found a new reader: Google’s artificial intelligence.
“My imagination just didn’t go as far as it being used for something like this,” Forster says. “Perhaps that’s my failure.” Forster’s thriller is just one of 11,000 novels that researchers including Oriol Vinyals and Andrew M Dai at Google Brain have been using to improve the technology giant’s conversational style. After feeding these books into a neural network, the system was able to generate fluent, natural-sounding sentences. READ MORE: Google swallows 11,000 novels to improve AI’s conversation | Books | The Guardian
IBM Watson can add yet another skill to its resume: the ability to make movie trailers. 20th Century Fox has tapped into the supercomputer’s powers to create the first AI-made trailer for its upcoming thriller film Morgan. It’s a fitting start for Watson’s trailer-making career. Morgan is, after all, a sci-fi flick about a group of scientists who created a humanoid machine that rapidly gained capabilities and went out of control. READ MORE: Watson helped make a trailer for a horror movie about AI | engadget
Artists beware! AI is coming for your paintbrush too… A new iOS app, called Prisma, is using deep learning algorithms to turn smartphone photos into stylized artworks based on different artwork/graphical styles.
Earlier this month Google’s software engineer Andrew Dai explained to BuzzFeed News that the genre’s formulaic approach to storytelling makes it ideal for machine learning. They hit a sweet spot between the labyrinthine, meandering sentences found in literary fiction, and the less elevated language used in kids’ books.
This has to be one of the most awesome headlines I have ever seen while curating news for this blog! 🙂
For the past few months, Google has been feeding text like this to an AI engine — all of it taken from steamy romance novels with titles like Unconditional Love, Ignited, Fatal Desire, and Jacked Up. Google’s AI has read them all — every randy, bodice-ripping page — because the researchers overseeing its development have determined that parsing the text of romance novels could be a great way of enhancing the company’s technology with some of the personality and conversational skills it lacks.
IN A SPARSE lecture room at Stanford University, six students are rehearsing a presentation they’ll later give to a roomful of VIPs from the university’s artificial intelligence lab…It’s presentation day at SAILORS, the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory’s Outreach Summer program, the country’s first AI summer camp for girls. Backed by more than forty university professors, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students from the lab, as well as big-name corporate sponsors like Google, the camp aims to remove the Achilles heel of AI research and, indeed, computer science as a whole: there aren’t enough women. READ MORE: This Girls’ Summer Camp Could Help Change the World of AI | WIRED
DON COOLIDGE AND JP Benini are bringing cognitive smarts to the world of children’s toys. Coolidge and Benini just launched a Kickstarter for a toy dinosaur toy driven by IBM Watson, the machine learning service based on the company’s Jeopardy-playing cognitive system.
Developed under the aegis of a company called Elemental Path and a project called CogniToys, this tiny plastic dinosaur uses speech recognition techniques to carry on conversations with kids, and according to Coolidge and Benini, it even develops a kind of smart personality based on likes and dislikes listed by each child.
The toy is another example of online machine learning pushing even further into our everyday lives. This is made possible not only by an improvement in AI techniques, but also by the ability to readily deliver these techniques across the net. READ MORE: A Toy Dinosaur Powered by IBM’s Watson Supercomputer | WIRED.
WE’VE LONG KNOWN there’s a market out there for robotic buddies. One compelling piece of evidence: The original Furby sold more than 40 million units, and it didn’t really do anything.
17 years later, an A.I. and machine-learning company is making a robot pal that will do way more than its fuzzy predecessor. It’s called Musio, and it houses a pretty impressive A.I. engine developed by a company called AKA.
The robot remembers details from prior conversations, asks follow-up questions based on that info, and can be used as a smart-home controller. But its main goal is to be your friend: Asking you questions, actually listening to your answers, and learning what you’re all about